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Let's Talk LED Enhanced Signs...


As seen in the IMSA Journal, July/August 2016 Edition

In our quest to make roads safer for motorists and pedestrians, LED-enhanced signs are being used to draw attention and deliver messages at all times. Certain areas of the country may be prone to snow, floods and other types of inclement weather. There may be a dangerous curve, a blind pedestrian crossing, a low overhead spot or a high-wind area. How can you reduce the potential threat these conditions pose? Look no further than a wireless traffic control system with LED-enhanced signs.

Signs with LED enhancements must comply with Section 2A.07 Retroreflectivity and Illumination in the MUTCD, which provides information on the signage regulation. LED-enhanced devices innovate and redefine safety standards.

Here are a few of the most popular:

LED-Enhanced Stop Signs

The front runner in the search for safer roads was, and will always be, the static stop sign. In terms of signage, the STOP is typically the most recognizable. However, a stop sign may be difficult to notice if it is installed at the end of a dangerous curve, a blind intersection or a high-volume traffic site.

LED-enhanced stop signs are the solution, effortlessly commanding a driver's attention and raising the probability for sign recognition and compliance. According to the Federal Highway Association (FHWA), LED stops yielded a 52.9 percent reduction in blow-throughs, shrinking the potential for injury.

LED-Enhanced Stop Sign

Mid-block Crossings and Roundabouts

At times, mid-block crossings and roundabouts are not visible or well-marked. Alternately, there may be improper parking restrictions in a tourist area. A 2011 Vermont study showed a 23 percent increase in yield-to-pedestrian data after an LED-enhanced sign was installed. The total yield rate was 80 percent.

Increase visibility by properly installing the crossing and adding a highly conspicuous pedestrian sign. It can be actuated by push button, motion or duration. Further distinguish the crossing by adding pavement lighting to enhance visibility.

Mid-block crossing

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) LED Crosswalk Warning Systems are user-actuated LED enhanced signs that draw attention when a pedestrian is about to enter the crosswalk. RRFBs are under interim approval by FHWA.

Research data by the City of St. Petersburg, FL shows very high rates of motorists yielding to pedestrians, mostly in the high 80 percent range, in comparison to far lower rates (15 to 20 percent) for standard beacons.

RRFB in school zone

Do Not Enter and Wrong Way

Do Not Enter and Wrong Way LED-enhanced signs alert drivers when they are traveling in the wrong direction so they may rectify that potentially fatal mistake. If drivers continue moving the wrong way, radar detection and a snapshot can be sent to the local agency or overhead message boards to alert others about the wrong way vehicle.

Wrong way driving factored into 3.1 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). San Antonio saw a 30 percent reduction after installing Wrong Way and Do Not Enter warning systems.

Wrong-Way Alert System

Curve Warning Systems

Curve Warning Systems send a wireless communication and synchronize LED signs dynamically to warn and guide motorists through a dangerous curve. This signal directs the chevrons to flash sequentially, delivering a "pull-through" effect. Curve systems reduce head-on and cross-median crashes and help prevent and mitigate roadway departure collisions.

If you have an area with traffic issues and you can't find a way to fix it, try an LED-enhanced solution. Just be sure to meet all MUTCD requirements.

Dynamic Curve Warning System

Kate Bert

TAPCO | Product Manager

Kate is a wrong-way alert and overheight warning systems expert dedicated to providing customers with innovative products, knowledge and guidance.

She has extensive experience in engineering, operations and product management and is passionate about collaborating with the team to develop lifesaving solutions to ensure safe travel for all users.

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